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  • Author or Editor: Odette van Brummen-Girigori x
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Most studies on changes in female behavior and preferences across the menstrual cycle have been conducted in samples comprised of largely white undergraduate students from Western populations. The present study examined cyclical shifts in reactive, preventive and anxious jealousy in a sample of 71 Afro-Caribbean women from Curaçao, a country in the Caribbean. We expected that, because of the risk of conceiving, especially preventive jealousy would be relatively high when fertile to safeguard the male’s protection, provisioning and investment. The results showed that, when fertile, women experienced indeed particularly more preventive jealousy, and also somewhat more anxious jealousy, but not more reactive jealousy, than when non-fertile. In addition, preventive jealousy was higher the later the age of the first menarche. We discuss possible explanations for the functionality of preventive jealousy during the fertile phase of the cycle, and for the functionality of such jealousy among women with a slow life history strategy.

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The present research examined the consequences of father abandonment for the reproductive strategies of girls from the Caribbean island of Curaçao. The sample consisted of 189 girls with an average age of 19.11 (SD = 2.97). Respondents were categorized in three groups, namely: ‘early father absence’ (abandoned between 0–5 years of age), ‘late father absence’ (abandoned between 6–13 years of age) and ‘father presence’ (father present during childhood). The results showed that compared to ‘late father absence’ girls and ‘father presence’ girls, ‘early father absence’ girls initiated sexual intercourse at a significant younger age. Moreover, they were less interested in getting married and in having grandchildren. These differences could not be explained by differences in educational level of the participants or occupational level of the father and the mother. There were no significant differences between the three groups in the age of menarche, the total number of sexual partners and the desire to have children. From an evolutionary life history perspective, we discuss possible explanations for, and implications of, these findings.

Open access